Bible Study & Devotional Day 295
There is Purpose in Place
By contributing writer Irvine Saint-Vilus
Have you ever been in a place or environment you did not want to be? However, you understood why your presence was beneficial.
Most, if not all of us, have had to face those uncomfortable circumstances (whether physical, emotional, or mental). In these situations, the temptation to flee to a familiar place is strong; however, the benefit of being in that intolerable atmosphere may exceed the dreadful circumstance(s) it presents.
While working at a hospital in the chaplaincy department, I would often go and visit patients with the understanding that most of them were not where they wanted to be. In the midst of dealing with pain and suffering, the prodding and poking of medical devices, disruptions from medical staff, and the lack of privacy, to name a few, the hospital stay can be an unpleasant one. However, these patients were willing to endure the hospital setting because the purpose (to improve their condition) was worth the physical discomfort they experienced.
Their goal was worth the sacrifice!
When the apostle Paul wrote the Second Epistle to Timothy, he was in the worst possible place. Waiting for execution and martyrdom in a Roman prison, Paul was put in the lower chamber of a dungeon.
Although the conditions were horrid, Paul understood that being in prison was necessary for the gospel message of Jesus Christ. Which was something that he was more than willing to endure.
In this address to Timothy, his beloved son in the faith, Paul tells the younger man, “Do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord (i.e., the gospel), nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling” (vv. 8, 9a).
- Why was spreading the gospel message so important to Paul?
- Why did he brazenly face imprisonment and invite Timothy to join him in his suffering (v8)?
Paul knew that the message was God’s promise of life through Jesus Christ, “who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (v. 10).
Everyone can learn from the apostle Paul, who demonstrates that individuals should be willing to endure difficult places in life for a worthy cause. In particular, for those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ, Paul shows us that we have to experience unfavorable situations for the sake of Christ. However, we must not be ashamed of the gospel message but rather proclaim it boldly for “it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16).
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Irvine is a published author, worship leader, instructor, and speaker. Over the past two years, she worked as an instructional assistant helping autistic students in the school system. Irvine also had the privilege of working as a chaplain in a hospital setting, which allowed her to minister to patients, staff and work in a team environment where collaboration and accountability were essential. Irvine received a Bachelor’s degree in English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; a Master’s degree in Divinity, and a School Counseling degree at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.